Monday, 22 June 2015

The ultimate tea set

After spending a lot of money to acquire your beautiful Yixing teapots and tea ware for brewing a nice cup of fragrant Chinese tea, most tea lovers realize that they only need a very simple tea set to make tea. This consists of a traditional glass cup with a lid. You may add other equipment as and when you need it.
The very basic tea making equipment
You may be surprised why this traditional Chinese cup with a lid can be used to make nice Chinese tea. Isn't this cup the one you see in movies where Emperor Qianlong sipped tea from when he was visiting Jiangnan on his imperial boat along the river?

If you are not convinced, if you happen to see some professionals in tea brewing competition or someone doing tea making demonstration in a mall, just watch what they are using to brew tea. Most often you will see these people are brewing tea with this cup. They handle the cup and lid so skillfully using their fingers as they go about making the tea. I will tell you why this humble tea cup is ideal  for tea brewing.

Now why people give up their favorite Yixing pot made by some famous potter and choose this humble cup during tea making competition. It is simple to understand. Yixing pot has a unique characteristic, the clay traps the flavor/fragrance of the tea it is brewed with. Well, this is okay if you stick to the same tea with the same pot. Now if you like a variety of Chinese tea, just imagine the great number of teapots you have to use. Not forgetting the fact that after a while you tend to forget which pot is for what tea. It is okay if you are not that particular as to the purity and essence of the tea you consumed.

But in tea-making competition, you cannot afford to have the fragrance and essence of your tea influenced by the utensil you use. Don't forget the tea you brewed will be tasted by a panel of experts who have sharp nose and tongue. Hence you have no choice but use this unattractive simple cup in major event. As this cup is made of glass, it will certainly not affect the tea you brew. This means the cup will be a neutral party where the tea is able to brew to its fullest potential. If you need to change to a different tea, just discard the spent leaves, wash and clean the cup and you will be ready for the next brew.
The ultimate tea set
To make tea using this ultimate tea set, just load 8 g of your favourite tea into the cup, pour some hot water to rinse it, then cover it with the lid. With you thumb and middle finger holding the cup at the rim, use your index finger to move the lid side way to create a gap. The you can pour out the tea through this small opening. Be careful not to pour out the tea leaves as well. The first (may be 2nd) rinse of tea is not for drinking. Then fill up the cup and close the lid. Wait a few seconds, you can then pour out the tea into the container. Then you will begin to enjoy the real fragrance coming from the tea you brewed. To be honest, you need to practice a few times to able to handle the cup and lid using only the fingers of one hand.

If you like a variety of Chinese tea, why not invest in this simple tradition Chinese glass cup with a lid. You don't need to invest in a couple of pots for this purpose. Then you will have endless fun in your pursuit of the mystery and benefits of Chinese tea.

Here are the sequence of events when using the glass cup:

Load 8 g of tea into cup
Rinse the tea with hot water (or wake the tea up)

Discard the first round of tea (proper way of handling the cup)

Refilling the cup with hot water and pour out brewed tea
Dispense tea into smaller cups for drinking

Green puerh tea -  12 years of age

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